Parliament is “in urgency” when the government wants to pass a law in a hurry. In this case, the government is in a hurry to set up the new Auckland super-city council before the local body elections in November next year. The government wants to set up a Transition Agency which is an organisation to decide how eight councils will become one council.
Parliament began to sit in urgency on Wednesday. Usually MPs go home on Thursday afternoon and return to Wellington on Tuesday morning. However, because of this urgent matter, MPs had to stay until midnight on Wednesday and Thursday. They will continue until midnight tonight and all day on Saturday.
The Labour Party is making it difficult for the government to pass this law. Some Labour MPs want the law amended which means changed a little, and they have introduced hundreds of amendments. The MPs vote on each amendment and this takes a lot of time. Of course, none of the amendments will pass because the government with the ACT party has a majority in Parliament. Rodney Hide of the ACT party is getting very angry at the Labour Party and says they are just wasting time. The Labour Party says they are trying to show how bad this law is because people have not had a chance to discuss it.
The Maori Party is also angry about the new super-city idea because the government does not want to have three Maori representatives on the Auckland council. (See April 7th 2009. The Maori Party and the Greens are voting with the Labour Party.